Little-Known Law Prevents Medical Malpractice Case Against Florida Hospital
When a loved one dies due to someone else’s negligence, people are often under the assumption that they can file a wrongful death lawsuit in hopes of recovering compensation. While this is true in most cases, some states have laws prohibiting surviving family members from pursuing medical malpractice lawsuits in certain instances. This means they cannot recover compensation for their loved one’s death. This not only prevents them from seeking closure, but it also puts a financial burden on them.
There are often medical bills and funeral expenses that need to be paid. With the victim’s death comes a loss of income, and this can be a significant financial loss if the person was married or had children.
A Florida family is in this situation. A 32-year-old man was in a motorcycle accident in January. He hit a pothole and to avoid hitting another motorcycle, he put his leg down, which broke it.
The man was taken to a local hospital. He called his family a few days later and he sounded fine. He then died overnight. It is unknown what happened, but he was not put on a monitor and his leg surgery was being delayed.
The family believes the hospital killed him, yet they cannot bring a lawsuit against the negligent parties. Under Florida State Statute 768.21, damages from a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot be recovered by adult children or by parents of an adult child, if the deceased is over the age of 25. Only those with a spouse or children can sue for medical malpractice. This means that the man’s parents and sister cannot file for medical malpractice.
The man was not married and had no children of his own. However, he was engaged to be married and his fiance had a 3-year-old daughter. Since he was not legally married at the time of his death, they will receive nothing, either.
It is a frustrating situation, but the law has been in place for more than 30 years, and the state must abide by it for now. The purpose of the law is to keep healthcare costs down and avoid frivolous lawsuits.
The man’s sister is in the process of creating a new bill and she hopes that lawmakers will support it. She is also hoping to attach her bill to another medical malpractice bill that’s on the floor. If she does not get support right away, she plans to keep fighting.
Seek Help for Your Medical Malpractice Case
Florida law can be confusing when it comes to medical malpractice and wrongful death. It can be frustrating for a family to discover that they cannot recover compensation for a loved one’s death due to the wording in an outdated law.
If you have lost a loved one to medical malpractice, it is important to hold the liable party responsible. The Dade City medical malpractice attorneys at Mander Law Group can help you and your family recover the compensation you deserve. To schedule a consultation, contact our office at (800) 557-0411.